Archives for 2011 | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

Fields End (89)

Disappointing day.

Arrival time: 09.30 (started to fish at 10.00)
Weather: Bright and sunny. Reasonably mild.
Very light SE/S/SW breeze.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line,
16 hook on 5lb flourocarbon. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp of 2lbs, an ide and a couple of roach

Today was full of promise. Very mild for late October and no troublesome wind. However, nobody told the fish!

I arrived a bit later than usual so may have missed an early bonus fish or two. I had decided to go for roach with the hope that a tench or carp may turn up.

Sweetcorn was the chosen bait, with luncheon meat in reserve. I may have tried maggot but the shop was closed when I arrived. I was feeding small pellets. Read Full Report...

Fields End (88)

A bit quiet but some reasonable fish.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Overcast with some light drizzle on occasions.
Light E wind swung to SE later in the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 12 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Lunchion meat
Fish:
Three carp, best fish 9¼lb, two tench and a roach.

Various things have conspired to keep me away from fishing over the past few weeks, so it was good to get back to the bank side.

It was quiet at the lake with probably only about five people there at any time during the day. I had the tree corner to myself. While the relatively mild period prevailed it wasn’t the best of days, although the overcast conditions should have helped the fishing. It was calm when I arrived but the easterly breeze proved a bit irksome later in the day. Read Full Report...

Fields End (87)

A visit to Fields End after a gap of a couple of months.
A few carp and a couple of lost fish.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Warm and bright with southerly breeze.
The breeze freshened and was a bit of a nuisance.
Swim: Reed Corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float rod, centre pin, 8lb line, 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat
Fish: Five carp, best fish 8lb 6oz, and a tench.

After a bit of a down-beat trip to Fields End in June I thought I would see if things had quietened down a bit now that it’s September. Charlie, the owner, feigned not recognising me when I arrived. I explained that I liked it when things were quieter and that he would probably see a bit more of me into autumn/winter. He gave me a fridge magnet with their details on it, the reason being that he had used one of my photos as the background. A little bit of fame. Read Full Report...

Manea Pit (3)

A return to Manae Pit but not much doing.

Arrival time: 13.00
Weather: Clearing after heavy rain during the morning.
Breeze freshened once rain had stopped. Bright afternoon.
Swim: Main lake. First bay on SW bank.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook on 5lb fluorocarbon link. Insert waggler.
Bait: Sweetcorn
Fish: A few roach.

My neighbour’s father was house-sitting while they were away and I had suggested a day’s fishing. We originally planned to go to Stamford but a morning of heavy rain, and an uncertain outlook, modified our plans. Instead we went to Manea Pit, which is much closer. In the event, after a little more rain the afternoon brightened with a freshening breeze and it was quite pleasant.

I previously fished the pit in March 2010 and the lake was reasonably clear of weed. Today, however, the weed growth was prolific, not helped by the climatic conditions this year. We spoke to a chap who was picking up litter (why oh why don’t anglers take their littler home) and he said they had been removing weed but its progress had basically outpaced them. Read Full Report...

River Welland (14)

A missed bite, a lost fish but two nice chub.

Arrival time: 11.15
Weather: Overcast and windy, with a little rain.
Stiff downstream breeze made life awkward.
Swim: The large pool.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Cheese and maggots
Fish: Three chub, best fish 3lb 13oz

I had a few jobs to do last week so it’s been two weeks since I was last on the river bank. The large pool has been so reliable that I’m afraid I went back there again.

My last visit was relatively disappointing but this time I had only been there about 15 minutes when my rod top was pulled around further than I think it has ever been before. Unfortunately the bite came almost immediately after casting and I chose that particular moment to look down at my reel, and looked up to see the full curve of the rod far too late to hit the fish. To say that I kicked myself is putting it very mildly indeed. The thing is you never know whether it was a particularly big fish giving the rod a mighty heave or an impetuous smaller one that hadn’t yet learnt about caution. Read Full Report...

River Welland (13)

Eight hours - One fish - Tough and Hot.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Very hot with a light on-and-off breeze.
Swim: The large pool.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese
Fish: One chub 3lbs 15oz.

They say unlucky 13. My thirteenth trip to the Welland and it was a bit disappointing. I suppose I may have become bit blasé after a few very successful trips.

It was hot, very hot, and the river was clear, but it usually is in the summer. Also there were far more people walking along the bank. It’s the school holidays so perhaps the river is being fished a bit more. There was certainly the ubiquitous litter in the spot I fish. Or perhaps the chub had moved elsewhere; you can’t catch what’s not there, as Richard Walker said. Read Full Report...

River Welland (12)

Ideal conditions and four good fish.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Overcast but bright and reasonably mild.
Occasional light breeze.
Swim: The large pool.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese & luncheon meat.
Fish: Four chub, best fish, two at 4lbs.

Yet another trip to the Welland. I really like the tranquility of the place, and the chub aren’t bad either.

There was a bit of flow today, which I find always helps. The first fish came after only fifteen minutes (11.45). A small pull on the rod tip was followed by a positive bend; no trouble hooking this one. As usual it tried for the various reeds and buried itself in the bottom weed nearer the bank, but the weed is soft and I extracted it without incident. A nice 4lb fish on cheese. Read Full Report...

River Welland (11)

Rain like you’ve never seen!

Arrival time: 11.20
Weather: Started bright and warm but thunder clouds moved in.
Little wind.
Swim: The large pool.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese & luncheon meat.
Fish: Three chub, best fish 3¾lb

Another weekly trip to the Welland. The forecast was for heavy showers but I thought I would take a chance. Read on to find out what a mistake that was.

After setting up I cast out with a piece of Gloucester cheese, courtesy of Helen when my cheddar sticks ran out. It soon became evident that the chub didn’t mind the change. A chap stopped and was chatting to me. I had only been fishing for about ten minutes when he arrived and about five minutes later (11.40) the rod tip pulled round and I was into my first fish. After a spirited fight a 2½lb chub was in the net. A nicely coloured fish. Read Full Report...

River Welland (10)

A bit more difficult today.

Arrival time: 12.15
Weather: Overcast but bright, although clouds were threatening.
An easterly that freshened and became quite chilly.
Swim: The large pool and a bit of roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two/three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese, worm and bread flake.
Fish: A couple of small pike followed by two chub. Best fish chub 4½lbs

Back again to the Welland. There were actually a couple of anglers on the stretch today. One was pole-fishing the far bank not far from the town while the other seemed to be roving. I made my way to the large pool, which was free.

I started with cheese but had brought some lobworms to see if I could tempt a large perch. There were a few sharp taps on the cheese but nothing that characterised a chub. I persevered but the lull was only broken when a jack pike of 1½lbs took the cheese as I was retrieving. Fortunately it was lip-hooked and soon returned. After a bit longer with the cheese I changed to worm. This produced more ‘bites’ but other than one lost fish (probably a smallish perch) and another even smaller jack pike that took the worm on the retrieve, there was nothing doing. Read Full Report...

River Welland (9)

Another rewarding few hours.

Arrival time: 11.15
Weather: Bright and sunny but clouded over after 15.00.
A light westerly that freshened.
Swim: The large pool
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese.
Fish: Four chub, best fish 4lb 7oz

I so enjoyed last week’s trip to the Welland that I decided to return. Again I planned on less than a full day, arriving late morning with the expectation of packing up with the arrival of forecast rain later in the day.

I went back to the large pool and again fished the far bank. With the success of cheese last week I had bought a few sticks of cheddar at the weekend. I soon had a sharp knock but I suspect it wasn’t a chub, or perhaps a smaller one. This was repeated on subsequent casts although I then missed a firmer pull. Just over an hour after arriving, at 12.25, a much more decisive pull connected me with my first chub, which when landed weighed 2lb 13oz. Read Full Report...

River Welland (8)

First trip of the season to the Welland for Chub.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Bright with cloud building and the threat of rain.
A fresh breeze accompanied the darker clouds.
Swim: The large pool
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat and cheese.
Fish: Three chub, best fish, two at 3lbs 13oz.

After my depressive comments about the last trip to Fields End (24 June) I grabbed the opportunity today to visit the River Welland. Helen had her car in for service at Peterborough so we arranged to ‘picnic’ by the river while the car was being attended to.

The river was low and clear, not ideal conditions. Also, as I walked along to my intended swim I didn’t see any chub, which is unusual in summer. It seemed that it might be a difficult day. I tried fishing the tail end of the pool, where I had previously been successful. After about 20 minutes I realised that this wasn’t working, so I tried casting directly across the river to the far bank. Helen had gone into town to pick up the picnic food and soon after she left (12.15) a positive bite on luncheon meat produced a nice looking chub of 2lb 3oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (86)

Not a particularly satisfying few hours.

Arrival time: 15.00 (started to fish at 15.30)
Weather: Blustery and overcast. The westerly wind only moderated slightly into the evening.
Swim: SE Reed Corner / Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Mitchell 301 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Bread flake, crust, luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 6½lb and small roach.

I thought I would grab a few hours as I hadn’t been over the lake for over a month. There was only one van in the car park when I arrived, which was encouraging, but the caravan/camp site was full. This was borne out once I got to the bank, there being very few vacant swims. I thought I would try the reeds in the SE corner. It’s the shallowest part of the lake and with the levels down this year following the exceptionally dry spring, it was very shallow indeed.

The wind was blowing into the corner so I started with a light leger but couldn’t hit the sharp taps on the rod top. I changed to a waggler and cast close to the reeds with flake on the hook. After a couple of casts the float sailed away and, having extracted it out of the reeds, a mirror of about 3-4lb came to the net at 16.45. Shortly after this a couple of chaps moved in on my right and were obviously expecting to be joined by their partners, so I could see things getting a bit noisy. They already had a dog that kept yapping and they were talking incessantly. Fortunately some people started to pack up around 18.00 so I moved over to the Tree Corner. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (6)

A bit slower this evening.

Arrival time: 17.15 (started to fish at 17.45)
Weather: Lovely evening following a sunny and warm day.
A light breeze.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line,
5lb fluorocarbon hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six small carp, best 3lbs 2oz, some small tench and bream.

When I arrived there were around 5 or 6 anglers on the lake. The most I’ve seen. One was in my ‘adopted’ spot, but as I set down elsewhere, I noticed that he was packing up. I went over and had a chat with him. He was from Bradford and has been fishing the lake for about four years. He remarked that it was now getting busier. He was looking forward to some barbel fishing on the Swale as the river season opens tomorrow. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (5)

Plenty of fish again.

Arrival time: 17.00 (started to fish at 17.15)
Weather: Bright with white cloud.
Blustery with occasional rain.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 2½lb hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: 15 small carp, best 3lb 14oz, and some small bream up to 1lb.

I thought it was going to rain yesterday evening so delayed my return to the lake until this evening. A mistake as it turned out. Despite ominous clouds yesterday evening turned out perfect, whereas this evening threatened rain and eventually delivered it. I got a bit wet but fortunately I had brought the brolly this year so I was reasonably protected.

The evening was much like Monday. I started with flake and was soon landing small carp. Later I changed to luncheon meat, which was equally as effective. This evening’s tally was fifteen carp, most around the 2lb mark, with the best being 3lb 14oz. I also had three bream (or skimmers to use the current vernacular). The best was a pound. This explained why I was missing some ‘good’ bites, as hooking the bream was obviously trickier than hooking the much bolder carp. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (4)

Plenty of small carp.

Arrival time: 18.15 (started to fish at 18.30)
Weather: Bright with white cloud.
Light wind dropped as dusk approached.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 2½lb hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: 16 small carp, best 4¾lb and a small tench

After two years we’re back at Cringles, near Silsden, so I can visit Stake Hill again. The fishery has been open about five years. I first visited four years ago, so I have seen it develop. It’s a very tidy lake and a credit to the owners. Read Full Report...

Fields End (85)

Five hours, two fish - hard work.

Arrival time: 14.00 (started to fish at 14.30)
Weather: Bright and warm with white cloud.
W wind moderated and eased completely into the evening.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Mitchell 301 reel, controller float, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake, floating crust and luncheon meat.
Fish: two carp, best 10lb 2oz

Another afternoon session but this time the lake was busier. The Reed End wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was the best pitch of those that weren’t already occupied.

I tried flake and luncheon meat close to the reeds but whereas last week I was quickly into a couple of decent fish before things quietened down, on this occasion nothing. Plenty of fiddly bites, some of which sailed away, but no contact was made. One small roach confirmed my suspicion that these were smaller fish and an occasional small scale on the hook reinforced this view.

I plodded on but got nowhere. The general noise level around the lake was off-putting, holidaymakers now representing the majority of those fishing. I know i shouldn’t, but I get irritated when people put out a couple of bolt-rig feeders and then saunter off to chat at high volume, occasionally dashing back to haul in a fish that’s hooked itself. I’m probably old-fashioned but that doesn’t constitute angling in my book. Moan over. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (14)

Five hours, one bite and one lost fish!

Arrival time: 15.45
Weather: Bright, warm and windy.
Pond is sheltered but wind created a nuisance drift.
Swim: Pump Pond - Reed Corner.
Tackle: Drennan Barbel Specialist, Shimano Exage 4000, 12lb line, size 8 hook tied direct.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: One lost

Again I decided to grab a few hours over the Pump Pond. It’s a difficult lake and I would only ever expect one or two fish. On this occasion the wind was blowing into the opposite corner and there was little sign of reed movement. However, after a while I spotted a few knocks on the reeds indicating that fish were in residence.

There were two carpers bivvied up on the opposite bank. They were obviously sleeping in readiness for the night session when I arrived, although their lines were out with bite alarms in place. There was also another angler in the opposite corner. During the time I was there none of them caught anything.

The slight drift created by the wind made it difficult to free-line as it pulled the line under the surface, making line indication impossible. After a while I added a self-cocking float on a sliding rig, which allowed me to cast very close to the reeds. This is a technique I’ve used previously with success. After starting off with flake I changed to luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Fields End (84)

An afternoon and evening session.

Arrival time: 15.00 (started to fish at 15.25)
Weather: Bright and warm with increasing cloud.
SW wind moderated and eased completely into the evening.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 8lb 10oz, and four tench, best 3lb 14oz

I was so shattered after last week’s all day session in the wind and sun that I decided to go to the lake for the afternoon and evening.

There was a fresh SW wind blowing so a swim in the SW bay would have been ideal, but all were taken bar one, and with that number of people concentrated in one area I decided to go to the NE corner, which was deserted. Back to the Reed End where I was last week. Glutton for punishment?

The waggler in fact rode the wavelets quite well and I was quickly into my first fish, a tench of 2lb 6oz. Soon after a 4lb leather came to the net and within minutes of landing that I had an 8lb 10oz common on the bank. The storming start was, however, soon to fizzle out. Read Full Report...

Fields End (83)

A good morning but the wind spoiled the afternoon.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Bright, warm and sunny later.
Light S wind became troublesome in the afternoon.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 14/12 hook.
Drennan Barbel Specialist, Shimano Exage 4000 reel, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 10½lbs, six crucians, best 2lbs 4oz, a tench of 3lb 3oz and a 1lb roach.

Because of bank holidays and other things to do it’s been a couple of weeks or more since I’ve been fishing .

The forecast for a southerly wind made swim choice difficult. The south bank is somewhat featureless so I opted for the reed end swim in the north east corner. Things started well enough. With a light breeze conditions were perfect. Having changed the pellet waggler to an insert waggler (because of the ripple), on my first cast what was almost certainly a carp shot off only to shed the hook after a few seconds. Second cast, another carp, and after a strong lunging fight a fine 10½ lb leather was on the bank. This was followed next cast by a 5¾ mirror. Both fish were taken on flake.

As is often the case, the carp then seemed to disappear, although a chap setting up on the platform in the adjacent reed swim may have been a factor. However, throughout the morning I had good sport with crucian carp, with one fish of 2¼ lb, and a 1 lb roach. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (13)

A few hours at the Pump Pond, Block Fen, Mepal.

Arrival time: 15.15
Weather: Bright and warm with a breeze.
Pond is sheltered and was not affected by the wind.
Swim: Pump Pond - Reed Corner.
Tackle: Drennan Barbel Specialist, John Wilson reel, 12lb line (free-lining), size 8 hook tied direct.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: two carp, best 8lbs

As I didn’t have a complete free day this week I thought I would try a few hours at the little pump pond at Mepal where I’ve previously had some success stalking the carp. It’s not an easy place to fish, which makes any success that much more rewarding.

The conditions were good. The pond was protected from the prevailing wind but a surface drift had taken detritus into the reed corner where I fish. I started with a sliding pre-weighted balsa float, which had worked well on a previous visit. This time, however, it was drifting out of place. I therefore reverted to simple free lining using the weight of the bread flake to cast. Read Full Report...

Marco Cortesi Centrepin reel

I bought a Marco Cortesi Signature Centrepin reel from Dragon Carp a couple of months ago. At £30 it seemed a bargain, and in reality it was. Other companies sell the same reel differently branded at higher prices.

Marco Cortesi Reel

Marco Cortesi Reel



It had its first trial yesterday. I married it with my Hardy Avon rod for close-in margin fishing.

It is a well-constructed reel for the money but, to be honest, I found it a bit difficult to get on with. I regularly use centre pins so it wasn’t simply a case of unfamiliarity.

Read Full Report...

Fields End (82)

This was one of those days that offered much but ended up disappointing.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Generally bright and warm although more cloudy in the afternoon.
Light SW wind swung to S at times during the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman Avon Specimen, centre pin reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook tied direct.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: One carp of 8lb 4oz, six crucian carp to 1lb 14oz, four roach to 14oz and a 3lb 8oz tench.

First on the lake, I tried luncheon meat down the margin. On this occasion nothing took the bait. Was this an omen?

To be fair the fishing wasn’t that bad. Very few carp were caught around the lake, with the exception of Mick Nash who was doing well off the surface. The main problem, for me at least, was that the ‘holiday’ season has arrived, and there was a considerable amount of loud talking. How it is that people can hold conversations that can be heard clearly over 100 yards away completely amazes me. Add to this a noisy neighbour to the right, who was casting two feeder rods with mortar bomb consequences, thumping around on the platform and talking loudly to himself every time something went wrong. Even my ‘quiet’ evening period was thwarted. A couple a chaps arrived and positioned themselves either side of me. They then struck up a continuous conversation while distance casting for surface feeding carp. All this noise and their continual standing and casting I think put paid to any self-respecting carp feeding in the margin. Read Full Report...

Shimano match rod and reel

I recently extolled the virtues of my new Shimano Exage reel. When used with my Shimano match rod it provides a surprisingly powerful set up. Match rods to me always meant tippy action with not much give once the tip had done its work. This rod, however, has a surprisingly good through action after the tip has given its all. With the Exage reel’s brilliant rear drag this allows bigger fish to be played without undue risk to line or hook-hold.

The foul-hooked 10lb common I landed on my last visit to Fields End proves the point. Hooked in the pectoral fin I was unable to turn its head and was amazed that I got it in on such light tackle.

On the down side I also recently bought a Shimano ST 6000 baitrunner that I matched up with my Hardy Marksman Specimen rod. It was, in fact, an utter mismatch. The large baitrunner reel was not suitable for stalking the margins where one really needs to hold the rod to deal with the explosive action. It was too heavy and cumbersome to use in such a delicate situation.

Fields End (81)

Another mixed bag with some good fish of each species.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Light W wind became strong during the afternoon.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano ST6000 reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six carp, best 13lb 9oz, eight crucians, best 2lbs 4oz, a 4lb tench and three roach, best 1lb 3oz.

After a marvellous weekend, weather wise, things deteriorated a bit today.

I was the first on the lake, and started with my Hardy Marksman by dropping a piece of luncheon meat down the right margin. First cast was short, but the second resulted in a bite almost immediately and a good fish tore off. It turned out to be an 8lb 10oz mirror carp that fought very well. With the heavier tackle, though, there was no real risk of losing it. A couple of chaps then turned up on the platforms on my right, and the obligatory dropping of the tackle boxes onto the platforms put paid to any further margin success.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (80)

A good mixed bag and a nice couple of barbel to finish.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Fresh NW/W wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 7lb 8oz, three tench, best 3lb 11oz, two barbel, best 5lb, five crucians, best 1lb 14oz, and four roach, best 1lb 1oz.

I took a chance on the wind today (the forecast was far better for tomorrow but I had things to do) but while it was fresh, it wasn’t too much trouble in the Tree Corner. The story of the day was plenty of bites, almost one a cast, but most were unhittable. I expected this on flake, but a change to luncheon meat produced similar problems. I can understand how a small fish can tug at flake and register a bite, but the missed bites on lumps of meat remain a mystery: crucians perhaps.

There was only me and three people from the caravans on the lake. I was completely alone in the SW corner, which suited me fine. Read Full Report...

Fields End (79)

Personal best Crucian carp today.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Cloudy start, bright later. Strong SW wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 12lbs, nine crucians, best 2lbs 7oz, a 2lbs 9oz tench and a few roach.

The forecast was for a warm day, but windy. The morning was, in fact, far from warm. Cloudy with a strong SW wind it was quite chilly. I benefitted from being in the Tree Corner, which is protected from south-westerlies.

Having succeeded with luncheon meat on my last visit I started with this bait. A couple of missed bites in over an hour convinced me that, today, this bait wasn’t working. I switched to flake, which resulted in more bites, in fact a bite almost every cast, but I couldn’t hit them; small roach, maybe. At 9.20 a nice roach of 11oz was a welcome relief but other than a couple of smaller roach, and what I think was an Ide of about 8oz just before midday, things were quite dire. Read Full Report...

Fields End (78)

Lacklustre start but it got better later on.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Relatively mild, bright and calm.
Light SW breeze freshened during the day before dropping late afternoon.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.

Lake

Lake


Bait: Luncheon meat
Fish: Two barbel, best 5lb 3oz and two carp, best 9lbs 1oz.

Up until lunch time I thought this was going to be another disastrous day. Not a bite until about 11.00 and then tricky ‘unable to hit’ bites. Managed a few small roach, none of which needed the net. I had been using sweetcorn and bread, the former being the more successful.

One of the regulars, Mick, arrived after lunch and was into a carp within minutes. He was fishing to the middle of the lake with meat paste and halibut pellets in PVA nets. He mentioned he had caught a barbel last time he was there. This got me thinking as I had caught barbel last year in the tree swim. I opened a tin of luncheon meat, a favourite summer bait, but one I had ignored during the colder weather. I soon had a positive bite and felt a larger fish.
Read Full Report...

River Welland (7)

Last day of the season so off to the Welland for Chub.

Arrival time: 09.30
Weather: Bright frosty morning but soon warmed up in the sun.
Calm to start with but fresh easterly breeze blew up.
Swim: Roving
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Bread flake.
Fish: Three chub, best 4½lbs.

After the disappointment of missing a couple of cracking bites on my last visit to Stamford this was my last chance to put things right before the close season.

Chub 4lb 1oz

Chub 4lb 1oz


I used the quiver-tip top on my Korum feeder rod to present less resistance. Having sold my Mitchell reel, I used one of my small Shimano bait caster reels with 6lb line.

I started in the large bay, but after about 45 minutes without a touch went up to the swim above the bridge that has always produced. Sure enough, I soon had a bite and felt a fish, but it wasn’t hooked. I then had another bite and this time hooked the fish only to lose it within seconds as the hook-hold failed. At this point I thought they might be well and truly spooked, but I did get another bite and connected. After a bit of a battle a nice chub of just over 4lb was landed at 11.00. Read Full Report...

Shimano Exage 1000RC

Having sold an old (1980s vintage) Abu 501 reel on eBay for £75 I treated myself to this Shimano reel to go with my Shimano match rod.

Today was its first outing and although I didn’t catch much, I must say that it handled very nicely indeed. Smooth as silk would be a good description.

It’s a nice light reel and the rear drag has a lever that makes it much easier to fine-tune the tension while actually playing a fish.

Shimano Exage 1000RC
So impressed was I with the small Shimano Exage that I’ve also bought the bigger 4000RC version. Just as impressive in conjunction with a more powerful rod.

Fields End (77)

Another disappointing day.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Cold frosty start with clear blue sky.
Light SW breeze that freshened considerably after lunch.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Maggots
Fish: Tench of 3lbs and some small perch and roach.

Again I was hopeful of a good day. The night was cold but the forecast was for a day of sunshine. Driving to the lake the Fenland scenery was spectacular. White frosty fields with a large orange sun shining through the mist. The magic was completed by a barn owl flying across the road in front of me and settling on a gate post.

Unfortunately the magic didn’t carry over to the lake. I had decided to try maggots in the hope of a decent perch, having seen the chap the other week pull out one that was easily over 2lbs. As it was I didn’t get a bite. Nothing for over two hours! The first bite, when it came at 09.30, was positive and resulted in a 3lb tench. Not bad, although the fish had a deformed lower lip, something I’ve seen on a number of tench at this venue. Read Full Report...

Fields End (76)

Ideal conditions but a disappointing day.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Clear and reasonably mild. Colder later.
Light SW breeze that freshened after lunch.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, sweetcorn and worm.
Fish: Three small roach

I was full of anticipation as it had been mild the previous day (12C) and the forecast was for another mild day. A light SW breeze didn’t affect the Tree Corner so everything seemed nigh on perfect.

Expectation was soon replaced by disappointment as I didn’t get a touch. Not a tremble on the float, not a line bite; nothing. This persisted until about 11.30 when I missed the first bite on sweet corn. Over the next couple of hours I laboriously managed about three small roach. In addition to sweetcorn I tried bread flake and worm. Read Full Report...

Fields End (75)

Disappointing day - one smallish carp and not much else.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Misty and cold.
Light E breeze veered to S after midday.
Swim: Reed end (NE reed corner)
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed as an attractor.
Fish: Carp of 4lbs 5oz and some small roach

I was a bit undecided whether to go today. The forecast was for an easterly wind, albeit light. When I arrived it was cold and misty. There was little wind and I debated whether to go for the Tree Corner, which has fished quite consistently over the last few weeks. However, an easterly wind would blow right into this swim. Also, there was a chap already in the pitch to the right. I decided therefore to go to the other side of the lake and fished the end of the reeds in the NE corner. This pitch fishes well in the summer.

Things started off very slowly indeed. I was baiting with hemp and bread flake balls and tried flake on the hook, but this was unsuccessful. I opened some sweetcorn and started introducing this as well. With sweetcorn on the hook I started to get bites I couldn’t hit, as has happened on all recent visits. I took a few small roach but is was 11.45 before I caught one of any size, and it was then only about 4oz. Occasional small roach followed and by 14.00 I was seriously considering packing up. Read Full Report...

Fields End (74)

Ideal conditions and a reasonable mixed bag of fish.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.45)
Weather: Started clear and reasonably mild. Colder later.
Light SW breeze during morning but calm after midday.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed as an attractor.
Fish: Carp of 8½lbs, two tench, best 3lb 10oz, a few roach, best 1lb 4oz, and a 1lb 11oz crucian carp.

Second time at the lake this week. Taking advantage of reasonably mild weather and lack of wind. The Tree Corner was calm being protected from the light SW breeze. The morning was bright and mild; almost spring-like. The birds were in song and it was difficult to believe it was mid February. The wind dropped completely at midday after which it became colder.

I had a fairly sensational start to the day. First cast, first bite, and I was into a carp. After a tussle it turned out to be an 8½lb leather, foul-hooked in the pectoral fin. Fortunately I had upped my line strength to 4lb after losing a carp on Monday. Read Full Report...

Fields End (73)

A day that promised a lot but was ultimately a bit disappointing.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 09.00)
Weather: Clear and cold (4-6 C).
No wind at first but a light S-SW breeze blew up.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Avanti fixed spool with 5lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and maggots
Fish: Roach to 14oz and a tench of 1¾lbs.

Not quite as cold as last Monday but still a bit chilly. The previous few days had been quite a lot warmer with high winds so I had hoped that a brief interlude of calmer, if colder weather would prove rewarding. I took some maggots this time to see if they may provide more hittable bites but unfortunately the small perch were a nuisance. I also fished sweet corn. There was only one other person on the lake.

If anything, bites seemed less frequent than on the previous Monday when the lake was frozen. So much for my warm spell theory. I finally hit a small roach at 09.35 on sweet corn and continued to catch occasional roach throughout the day. Most were not particularly large, although at 14.00 I did get a nice fish of 14oz on a bunch of red maggots. Of the others some were perhaps around 4-6 oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (72)

All roach today. Too cold for anything else.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 09.00)
Weather: Clear and cold (2-3 C).
No wind at first but cold NW breeze after lunch.
Swim: Swim to the left of the Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn
Fish: Roach to 1lb 5oz.

Arrived to find a frozen lake. I tried to break up the ice in the Tree Corner by casting a leger weight but it was too thick. The swim to the left had some open water so I moved there. Plumbing the depth showed there to be quite deep water 2-3 rod lengths out. I used sweetcorn again, baiting the swim little and often.

This was a new pitch for me so it took a while to find my way around. At first I did’t get a touch and was starting to have some doubts. However, after an hour or so I started getting touches similar to those experienced in the Tree Corner last week. I suspected small or wary roach. Finally at 10.50 I got my first roach, a fish of 4-6oz. After this the usual pattern of missed bites and occasional small roach unfolded. Read Full Report...

Fields End (71)

Some roach, a couple of tench and a bonus carp.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Light NW wind, mainly dry and about 7-9 C.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and worm.
Fish: Roach to about 8oz, two tench, best 3lbs, and a carp of 8lbs (on 2½lb line!).

The weather looked threatening when I arrived but other than a couple of very short light showers it remained dry. The tree corner was sheltered from the NW wind so I had almost calm conditions within my casting distance throughout the day. I decided to stick to sweetcorn and bait lightly but regularly. I did try worm for a few casts but other than missed bites and a couple of small perch, they didn’t produce anything memorable.

For the first couple of hours I had a bite every cast on corn but missed them all. These were real ‘sinkers’ but I just couldn’t connect. I believe that they were roach, probably on the small side, but how they robbed my sweetcorn and avoided the hook was nothing short of remarkable. Read Full Report...

Skee-Tex Field Boots

I bought some Skee-Tex Field Boots the other week.

Just the thing for winter fishing.

Skee-Tex Boots

River Welland (6)

Some winter chubbing on the River Welland. One fish landed but I missed a couple of cracking bites.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Overcast and cold. Some bright spells later.
Swim: Roving
Tackle: 12ft Korum light feeder rod, 8lb line, 8 hook. Two SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Bread flake.
Fish: One chub of 2lb 1oz but some silly misses.

I had a couple of tries on the Welland last winter but failed on both occasions. However, another angler had caught fish so I knew it could be done. I went straight to the large bay where I had success on my very first summer visit. I fished close in on the edge of the faster water but didn’t get a touch. I therefore moved to a swim above the footbridge where I caught a 3lb+ fish in the summer. After a tap on the first cast I recast and a firmer pull produced a 2lb 1oz fish. It fought well and was tricky to land from the high bank. Read Full Report...

Be My Guest

I’ve just finished reading ‘Be My Guest’; a compilation of the writings of Richard Walker during the early 1960s.

It has been extremely refreshing to read about angling as it then was. This was the period when, as a youngster and teenager, I fished every week, latterly with the Stonebridge Park Angling Society (SPAS). In those days our catches were mediocre in comparison with what youngsters can now catch from well-stocked commercial lakes. But I think we got more from the sport. We had to learn to read the water, which was invariably a river, and certainly couldn’t guarantee to catch on every trip.

The narrative of the book is that of Dick instructing a young companion, very much like Mr Crabtree goes Fishing. It is a dialogue that is written as a monologue, with the reader needing to infer what the young companion is saying to Dick. It is an unusual but very enjoyable method of imparting angling knowledge. Read Full Report...

Fields End (70)

No wind but unexpected rain. Two good tench just about sums it up.

Arrival time: 08.30 (started to fish at 09.00)
Weather: No wind, lots of rain but not too cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 16 hook on 2.5lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn
Fish: Two tench, best 3½lbs, a few roach to 10oz and what I think was a dace.

Tench 3lb

Tench 3lb



First trip since 19th November! The lake was very coloured. Hard to believe that this was entirely due to fish movement. Perhaps the high winds over the past few days had stirred things up.

Forecast was for 7-9 degrees and calm. It didn’t mention rain, which started at about 10.00 and carried on until around 13.30. January rain is chilling and quite unpleasant. It also made it difficult to spot pre-bite float movements, causing me to miss some of the few bites that I actually had. Read Full Report...

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